Nine Months

Ha! You thought this post was about pregnancy, but I'm sorry to disappoint you, it's not! The nine months refer to how long we've been married (Alhamdulillah) and the lessons we have learned during this 75% term of our first-year-anniversary-journey. These tips may sound simple and common sense, but in the midst of busy lives and competing demands, they are easy to lose sight of. We hope you benefit from our learning :-)

1. Wake up each and every day with the goal of making your spouse smile...or better yet, laugh!

2. Let go of the things that make you want to say "I told you so". Are those really worth anything anyway?

3. Be in tune to how your spouse is feeling and ask them if you feel that something is up.

4. Make mutual decisions and ensure that both of you have responsibilities.

5. For all those strong and independent women out there, ask your husband for help!

6. Sit and talk each and every day. Turn off the TV, put your phones away, get comfortable next to one another and talk!

7. Each dinner together at the table. Sit side by side rather than opposite to one another. This ain't no formal date!

8. Ensure you're both taking time for your own and one another's families. Notice if your spouse misses their family and encourage a visit home :) Maintain those ties of kinship!!!

9. Hold weekly date nights! Be spontaneous and fun outside of these times too!

10. When your spouse is talking to you, all hands down from technology, etc and listen attentively. It sounds simple but I see many couples who don't do this!!

11. Simple phrases such as "thank you" or reminiscing about shared memories can brighten their day. And of course, tell them how much they mean to you every day.

12. Do things around the house together. Cook and clean; decorate or plan the furniture layout; hang pictures on the wall; or best yet, play tag :P

13. Pray together at least once a day. Thank Allah for bringing you both together. Keep your spouse and your relationship in your prayers.

14. Travel, travel, travel. It's not only a blessing to see the world but you learn so much about one another when you're out of your comfort zone!!

15. Don't forget to talk about larger topics, such as raising kids and future plans. But there's a time and place for all that, so pay attention to those two factors. When you're both exhausted after work is probably not the best time :-)

16. Admit you're wrong when you are and apologize. Always pay attention to your body language and tone of voice, when you're apologizing and otherwise. Pauses and moments of silences may seem awkward but give you both time to gather your thoughts. 

17. Keep good company. Your mutual and individual friends should be a positive influence in your lives. 

18. Keep details about your married life a secret...you never know who will not be saying "MashaAllah" when you divulge how things are going. Also, word spreads like wild fires. 

19. Use terms of endearment on a regular basis. It actually sounds weird when my husband calls me by my name!

20. Surprise each other...this doesn't have to be monetary or materialistic. Be creative with how you tell your spouse "I love you".

I'm sure there's many more tips we could come up with, but these are the ones that first came to mind. May Allah bless all the marriages out there, bring our spouses closer to us, and may everyone find their soulmate InshaAllah!

P.S. If you're on the path to marriage and some of these things may seem like a far stretch, then you may want to explore your relationship prior to getting married :-)

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